COVID-19 and changes in behavior: why you must relearn your customersJuly 28, 2020
Three tips to boost customer engagement with examplesAugust 4, 2020
Today’s interview is with Jo Causon, Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service. Jo joins me today to talk about the July 2020 update of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (The state of customer satisfaction in the UK), what we can learn from it and what companies should be focusing on.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – A quest to make technology emotionally intelligent – Interview with Rana el Kaliouby of Affectiva – and is number 352 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Amplexor for sponsoring my podcast for the coming month.
Amplexor is preparing to launch a really exciting virtual series called: Ignite Revenue Through Content which will feature leading speakers and thinkers in short, punchy and thought-provoking bi-monthly episodes exploring and highlighting insights and best practices of how to leverage Content as a strategic differentiator.
It’ll run from August through mid-December and kicking it off on August 20th will be yours truly talking about “Unleash(ing) your Inner Punk: a Rebellious Take on Customer Engagement”. I think the session that we have organised will be awesome, it’s a real honour and I’m really looking forward to it.
So, go to Amplexor.com to find out more and register.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Jo:
- All of our research shows us that there is a hard economic reality: Organisations that deliver consistently higher levels of customer satisfaction over time tend to outperform their peers, are more productive, more trusted, have more satisfied and loyal customers and more profitable.
- Since July 2017 customer satisfaction in the UK has been falling and in the latest results (July 2020) our research is showing that it is currently flatlining.
- Firms that are generally well known for delivering great service have generally performed well through the initial part of this Covid-19 pandemic.
- This decline could get worse if organisations don’t hold their nerve and don’t really focus on service.
- We are noticing a change in perception around the value of service.
- However, we have also seen a rise in intolerance and abuse towards service professionals from some consumers.
- What are the most important things organisations should focus on during the COVID-19 crisis? The research identified the following factors that organisations should focus on in descending order of importance:
- Do the right thing to protect their employees
- Prioritise the needs of vulnerable customers
- Keep customers updated
- Maintain availability of the products/services they provide
- Make it easy to contact the organisation
- Listen to customer feedback
- Make you feel reassured
- Provide quick responses to queries
- Do the right things to help customers who are experiencing financial difficulties
- Do the right thing to support the community in which they operate
- Organisations and brands that have done well through this period have quite simply serviced their customers really well and they’ve not sold to them. They’ve tried to help.
- More and more consumers are looking to organisations to exercise their agency on their behalf whether it is to look after employees, look after vulnerable customers, look after suppliers, look after their community, the environment etc.
- Three things that are very important: Be really clear about what your purpose is, who you’re serving and what drives you.
- There are four key factors that are framing the challenges for organisations going forward:
- 1 The evolving threat of COVID-19 and measures needed to reduce the threat
- 2 Changes in customer needs, preferences and behaviours
- 3 Economic legacy for organisations, communities and individuals
- 4 Organisations’ priorities: short-term sales or service and care for customers?
- The evidence in the UKCSI has allowed the ICS to identify 8 areas of focus that are especially relevant for organisations in the context of the evolving COVID-19 crisis (check out the report to find out more).
- Jo’s best advice:
- Look at what your customer data is telling you.
- Look at what your employees data is telling you.
- Find five or six key things that you can relate back to your purpose .
- Use those to write your customer strategy focusing on what is really important.
- The future of service includes a really important and significant role for the human being to solve complex problems and to demonstrate a higher level of empathy and connection when needed.
- Jo’s punk CX words: (Service with) respect.
- Jo’s punk CX brand: first direct
Jo Causon is the Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service.
Jo joined The Institute as CEO in 2009. Over the last 10 years she has driven membership growth by 150 percent and established the UK Customer Satisfaction Index as the country’s barometer of consumer satisfaction, providing organisations with an indicator of the return on their service strategy investment.
Jo brings a wealth of experience from the commercial sector, enabling her to put customer service at the heart of the Boardroom agenda. She has extensive experience in the financial services sector having served as a non-executive director to Aegon UK’s independent governance committee and having spent more than 11 years with organisations such as Aviva. She has also held director roles in brand and business consulting, policy development and research for the likes of City & Guilds and the Chartered Management Institute.
Jo focuses on demonstrating the clear link between employee engagement, customer service strategies and organisational performance. Working across the public, private and voluntary sectors she provides strategic advice to Boardrooms to raise the standards of service provided by UK organisations, providing evidence of the connection between customer satisfaction and operational efficiency and profitability.
She works with parliamentarians, officials and regulators to help them understand and harness the impact that service has on the UK economy and productivity. She is a regular media commentator and was called to give evidence at the Public Administration Select Committee inquiry into complaints handling.
Away from work Jo is a keen walker and traveller. She has travelled extensively, using her experiences to draw parallels on service strategy which she believes UK organisations should adopt and adapt to enhance customer satisfaction in an increasingly global marketplace.
Check out The Institute of Customer Service, the Latest UKCSI State of the nation report – July 2020, say Hi to them on Twitter @instituteofcs and connect with Jo on LinkedIn here.